Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Midwest Ice Storm To Become New England Messy Storm

A tornado crosses a highway northwest of Houston, Texas
Monday morning. Although the Northeast is
in for a vareity of messy, wintry weather today
and tomorrow, at least there will be no tornadeos
in the region. You take what you can get. 
Freezing rain and other yucky mixed precipitation was moving into the Northeast today from that icy storm that battered and bothered the middle of the country over the past few days.

That storm even produced severe weather and tornadoes in Texas. I guess the good news is no tornadoes will happen with the Northeast storm today, which is always a good thing.

Meanwhile, beleaguered Portland, Oregon is about to get another icy storm and most of the West Coast is getting a new round of stormy weather, too.

More on that in a moment.

First, let's get the more eastern storm explanation out of the way:


A freezing rain advisory is in effect today for most of the northern half of Pennsylvania and the southern half of New York State outside the New York City metro area today as that icy storm from the Midwest moves on through.

Once you get to New England, including Vermont, things get more complicated, and potentially messier, as a secondary storm gets going along the coast.

Had that storm from the Midwest just zoomed up through the Great Lakes without that second storm forming precipiation would change to rain and there wouldn't be much ice or snow accumulation.

But as that new storm forms along the coast, the winds will shift to the north in New England. When the wind shifts and how strongly it does so will determine precipitation types throughout the region.

It's going to be a close call between snow, sleet, a little freezing rain and rain in any given area, since temperatures are going to be marginal through this thing.
A Northeast snow accumulation forecast map.
Areas in yellow and orange would get three to
eight inches of snow. 

As a result, count on current forecasts in at least parts of the region to be wrong. Just generally expect messy weather, and don't hang your hat too much on precise predicted snow and sleet accumulations.

That said, it looks like southern and central New Hampshire, and southern Maine away from the coast are in for the most trouble. That area is under a winter storm warning tonight and much of Wednesday for four to seven inches of wet, heavy snow, possibly mixed with sleet or rain.

Here in Vermont, all but the far northern reaches of the state are under a winter weather advisory for an expected three to five inches of dense, wet snow, mixed with a little ice.  South and east facing slopes of the central and southern Green Mountains might get a little more than that.

That amount of snow is not totally huge by Vermont standards, but shoveling it off your driveway will feel like shoveling wet cement out of the way.

The advisory is in effect from late this afternoon through Wednesday morning in Vermont.

The northern Champlain Valley and far northern Vermont will get less, probably close to two to four inches of yucky stuff.

Count on a sloppy Wednesday morning commute, I'll say that.

After the storm tapers off Wednesday, we'll continue with a long spell of fairly warm weather throught the weekend. A good portion of the new snow and slush, especially in the valleys, will have melted as we're getting into another January thaw.


Portland, Oregon is in trouble with the weather again during their remarkably rough winter of snow, ice and cold.

Another ice storm is going to happen there today, as cold air hangs tough while a strong Pacific Ocean storm rolls in.

Some areas near the Columbia  Gorge could get an inch of ice accumulation, which would be pretty destrucitve. But areas that get much less will have nearly impassable roads for awhile today and tonight, especially since snow and ice lingers from the last storm.

Today's ice isn't the end of the 'West Coast problems, either.

High winds will batter coastal locations. Worse, as this storm moves in, it'll bring in a huge slug of moisture and dramatically warmer temperatures starting tomorrow.

The rain and snowmelt will almost surely cause flooding in Oregon and parts of Washington and northern California.

Big portions of Washington State face ice storm and winter storm warnings with this storm. Avalanche warnings are also up for the Cascade Mountains.

We'll provide updates on this storm and will watch its progress, too, because the Pacific Northwest storm will spin off other storm systems, some possible strong, for other areas of the nation next week.

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